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Child abuse is a major social problem that has been around since time began. Discuss.

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Introduction

Rachael Hondl Jr./Sr. Comp. 7 Jan. 2002 Child abuse is a major social problem that has been around since time began, but only within the last fifty years have people become aware and concerned enough to force laws to be passed to protect children. The most recent high publicized case was brought to peoples attention by the death of six year old Jon Bennet Ramsey, former "Little Miss Colorado." She was found strangled in the basement of her home. According to different media reports, her skull was fractured and she had been sexually abused. There was a lot of speculation that her death was a direct result of abuse by one of her parents, but it was never proven. In that way, it is not unlike many of the over one million suspected cases that are reported each year. According to Grus, "it is estimated that 1200 children die from child abuse related injuries each year" (Grus 80). What is considered child abuse and what does it include? According to Ruth Ryan, author, child abuse is "physical or emotional abuse of a child by a parent, guardian, or other person. It is the intentional use of physical force or intentional omission of care by a parent or caretaker that causes a child to be hurt, maimed, or killed." ...read more.

Middle

The last type of child abuse is emotional abuse that dictated by Pollak, "can range from repeated verbal belittling and rejection to tying a child to an enclosed space such as a closet or a cellar." This type of abuse can do permanent damage to a child (Pollak 679). How can a parent ever hurt his or her innocent child? What causes some people to become child abusers? There is no stereotype as far as social or economic status. It occurs in the homes of both rich and poor. Age doesn't play a role either. Neither does race. "Personal stress, marital dissatisfaction, and lack of activities outside the family are contributing factors to conflict in families where child abuse has occurred according to a study by Francesca Adler-Baeder." "The vast majority of physical abuse starts as Hondl 4 discipline or a conflict between parent and child that went too far" (Conflict in Families 7) Personal stress was the biggest factor for biological mothers. For biological fathers, marital dissatisfaction played a bigger role. For stepfathers, lack of participation in family activities seemed to be the main problem. It may not be a problem in the relationship of child and parent. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are more likely to abuse their children when they become parents. They may get in trouble with the law as juveniles. They tend to drop out of school or abuse drugs and alcohol. They have a higher incidence of attempting suicide. They may also suffer from social isolation. Sexual abuse can cause problems with sexual relationships, poor self-esteem and even multi-personalities (Ryan 499). How can anyone ever consider abusing a child? There's no excuse. Help is out there. There are several laws and government agencies such as Social Services set up to protect children. Help lines are open 24/7 for people who just need to talk. Anger Management programs are available. Parenting courses are offered in all cities. There is help for whoever needs it (Conflict in Families 7). In conclusion, child abuse is a major concern for society today. Even though laws have been passed and government agencies set up, it continues. Child abuse includes these four forms. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and neglect being the most common. The consequences for the victims of this crime are devastating, and the effects are lasting. Death isn't uncommon either. Causes for this abuse vary but perhaps anger and the unwillingness to control it is the most common. There is help for those willing to seek it. . ...read more.

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